A new week and a new twist in the ongoing legal issues involving Activision Blizzard. Last week, the California Department for Employment and Housing filed a new motion to block a settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and now the EEOC itself is accusing the DFEH of ethics violations and conflict of interest stemming from its legal team.
Turns out that some members of the California DFEH legal team who may have worked on the motion filed last week, but whose names were not on the attorney list for the final filing, were once employed by the EEOC. Additionally, they were members of the team that had previously been involved in investigating Activision Blizzard. The allegations in the EEOC’s new memo imply that those attorneys, with their inside information on the EEOC case, worked to prepare the appeal now in process, and then did not sign onto the final filing, in order to mask their participation.
According to the new memo, "These same attorneys then proceeded to represent DFEH in connection with these intervention proceedings, which seek to oppose the consent decree that arose out of the very investigation they helped to direct while at the EEOC". In other words, this, if true, would be a major ethics violation, and more than that, a conflict of interest that throws the case back into complicated territory. If the accusations are true that these attorneys both worked on both sides, the appeal itself may very well be in trouble, to say the least.
While it seems that developments in the ongoing legal issues surrounding Activision Blizzard keep running almost like plot twists, there should be some response on this latest accusation sooner rather than later, given that the motion to prevent the settlement is potentially impacted by ethical violations. There are still legal issues to work out with California and the SEC, but should this settlement be allowed to proceed, the company stands a chance of at least putting something behind it soon.